Island nation begs West for ‘climate aid,’ builds $500 million floating resort complex

Christopher Horner Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Font Size:

Remember that $100-billion-per-year “climate adaptation fund” that the Obama administration was so keen on at the amusingly disastrous Copenhagen Climate Summit in December 2009? The one that Senate Democrats bemoaned wouldn’t have a funding stream with the collapse of Obama’s cap-and-trade energy tax scheme?

Obama administration officials insist their pledge remains good. Fortunately, amid Congressional jawing about spending priorities, the agenda’s proponents continue providing assistance in the effort to ensure that no U.S. taxpayer money enters that slush fund.

This time it’s the most cartoonish global warming rent-seeker: the Maldives. The island nation, which is building new beachfront resorts and airport runways to handle its increasing popularity as a tourist destination, has for years been aggressively lobbying for “climate aid” from Western governments. Last year, the Maldivian government held a cabinet meeting underwater to protest rising sea levels that, well, don’t seem to be rising a whole lot.

Now CNN reports:

It might sound far-fetched, but a $500 million [floating golf course] development in the Maldives is set to make the world’s biggest water hazard a reality — and at the same time offer a potential long-term solution to the threat of climate change in the area.

Designed by floating architecture specialists Dutch Docklands, the proposed site is just a five-minute speedboat ride from Maldives capital Male, and will offer 27 holes of golf, set upon three interlinked islands.

The government-approved development will also boast around 200 villas, 45 private islands and a conservation center — and all at little or no cost to the wildlife-rich coral reefs it will call home, according to the people behind it.

“We told the president of the Maldives we can transform you from climate refugees to climate innovators,” said Paul van de Camp, CEO of Dutch Docklands.

That’s when the article gets really silly:

As sea levels reach dangerous levels, one option is to build defense walls, as they have around Male. Another is to buy land from other countries and effectively move their population to other areas. The third is to live on floating landscapes.

“Climate change is upon us and the Maldives are feeling it most. That’s why they’re leading the way in trying to find a way to combat the problem.” said Mark Spalding, senior marine scientist at the Nature Conservancy.

Climate always changes, and sea levels rise at a slow, steady rate between glaciations, but given that the Indian Ocean isn’t cooperating with the hype (something that the government in Malé is not eager, or even willing, to have its citizens hear), this is an inadvertent droplet of encouragement in a sea of inanity.

Thank goodness we “skeptics” have foils like our opponents. Al Gore. James Cameron. Maurice Strong. The Maldives. They’ll save us a ton of money (money that is demanded by someone but ultimately not spent is considering “savings” in Washington).

It’s not easy to lose a political fight with decades of friendly press and billions of dollars working in your favor. But the climate alarmists have shown it’s certainly possible.

Chris Horner is a senior fellow at The Competitive Enterprise Institute.